Having been interested in genealogy for over 50 years, I’ve decided to blog now and then about this fascinating hobby.
Today I received the probate files of my great-great grandfather John Schwans (b. 27 Nov. 1848, Vreschen-Bokel, Oldenburg; d. 25 Dec. 1936, Bridgewater, South Dakota). He left his farm to his two sons, Fred and John, Jr. … and $100 each to his two daughters! One had predeceased him and the other was married. I think such a distribution now days might be challenged in court. However, John Schwans came from an area in Germany where the oldest son usually inherited the land (likely in exchange for care of the aging parents). John was the youngest son in his family. Times and expectations change!
However, my grandfather Fred Schwans (b. 20 Aug. 1872, Vreschen-Bokel, Oldenburg, Germany; d. Dec. 1947) did NOT leave a will. Why he did not is a mystery to me since he was in failing health in his later years. His estate took several years to settle, but his farm was divided equally among his seven children.
A HUGE thank you to Laurie, my niece, for copying and sending the voluminous packet of papers to me.